Occupation: House Mover
How to Move a House
House on rollers at Prairie and Central St., Wilmette, 1950
House on rollers at Prairie and Central St., Wilmette, 1950 Details
House-moving involves prying a house from its foundation and transporting the building to another location on rollers. It used to be a common, not especially noteworthy event in Wilmette.

The Lake Shore News in 1914 reported this story about some house-movers in Wilmette. About 1:00 a.m., Tuesday morning on November 3, 1914, a crew of house-movers witnessed a burglary. The men were working in front of Edinger & Sneidel, dealers in coal and building material near the tracks at 1301 Lake Ave., when it began to rain. Taking shelter under the office shed, one of the men noticed a window had been broken and that two men were crouched inside near the safe. Stepping outside, the men told the movers that the office had been broken into, and that they were detectives searching for the robbers. After visiting for a while, the “detectives” walked over to the Chicago and North-Western tracks and started running south in the yards. The editor dryly commented, “Then, and not until then, one of the movers had a brilliant idea and called the village police.”

Moving houses was still a common occurrence into the 1950s. A 1948 photograph in the library’s local history database shows a house that was relocated to 738 10th St., and used as the school superintendent’s office. The photograph annotation mentions that the house was razed when Central School expanded. One move was apparently enough.

There is another version of the above photograph showing a house prepared for a move in the history website. The photograph is dated 1950, and is identified only as being at Prairie Ave. and Central. Look closely to see the trailer under the house. Sadly, there is no indication whether the house is coming or going.
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